But while the report also highlighted an increase in breastfeeding among African-American moms, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says more work needs to be done.
Maternity protection – still a corner stone of decent work! International Labour Day - 1 May 2012
In the wake of the global financial crisis and deteriorations of social protection, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) declares once again our solidarity with working women all over the world, and especially women who are pregnant, and with young children; in other words, all women who seek to manage their dual roles of being mother and worker. Unfortunately, these roles are inadequately supported at many levels of society despite having international maternity protection instruments and national laws that are relatively favourable.
If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.
Though a growing percentage of American moms start their infants on human milk, relatively few continue breast-feeding for the baby's first six months of life, let alone an entire year.
Why not stick it out longer? Numerous obstacles can prove difficult for new moms, but California researchers say they found that returning to work soon after giving birth presents a major barrier to successful breast-feeding.
We all know that breast-feeding is good for the baby. It provides much-needed antibodies to lower a baby's risk of diarrhea, ear infections, and bacterial meningitis, as well as preventing overfeeding, which could stave off obesity later in life. But is it good for moms? That's a difficult question to answer. Some studies suggest it may help prevent bone loss later in life and possibly lower the risk of ovarian cancer by delaying the onset of menstruation after pregnancy. Now, an intriguing new study out today in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that it could help some women avoid breast cancer early in life. Breast-feeding conferred nearly a 60 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer on women who had a family history of the disease.